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AN APPEAL against a decision to refuse plans to create almost 40 apartments in Wrexham town centre has been thrown out.

An application to convert the upper floors of an old nightclub on the corner of Brook Street into 10 apartments was denied permission in January 2021.

It would also have resulted in a new four-storey building with 28 apartments being built on a connecting area of land on Bridge Street.

The proposals were refused after Natural Resources Wales highlighted that the site is located within a flood risk area near the River Gwenfro, where there are no major defences in place.

Members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee reluctantly agreed to reject the scheme, despite some voicing concerns it would hamper efforts to regenerate the area.

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Developers Lingar Holdings have now also lost an appeal to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales to have the outcome reversed.

In a report, planning inspector Clive Sproule said while the apartments themselves would be elevated or located on the upper floors to prevent flooding, other parts of the development would be at risk.

He said:

“The proposed dwellings in Central Buildings would be at first and second floor levels, which would place them above the predicted flood levels.

“Likewise, the proposed new apartment block would have a finished floor level that would provide 300mm freeboard above the design flood level.

“However, the proposed dwellings would form part of the residential premises that would include on-site car parking, some of which would be subject to flooding.

“That flooding would extend across locations shown to be used for refuse storage and cycle racks, and that would provide pedestrian routes between these facilities and the existing and proposed buildings.

“All of these form part of the proposed residential premises that would be highly vulnerable development, and that the appeal scheme would introduce onto this site.”

In an appeal statement, consultants acting on behalf of Lingar Holdings argued the risk of flooding would be “minimal”.

They said the benefits of the proposals, including bringing an empty plot of land back into use, would outweigh any issues but Mr Sproule mostly disagreed with their conclusions.

He said:

“The proposed development would bring an underused building and vacant land back into use, and it would make a valuable contribution toward housing supply which provides significant weight in favour of the appeal scheme.

“However, the appealed scheme would be highly vulnerable development that would be subject to an unacceptable risk of flooding.

“All representations in this case have been taken into account and no matters have been found to outweigh the appeal proposal’s policy conflict and the resulting unacceptable harm in relation to flood risk.

“Accordingly, and for the reasons set out above, the proposal would not be a form of sustainable development and the appeal should be dismissed.”

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